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Electric Avenue coming to PSU

Block will enable tests of various electric vehicle charging systems

An electric vehicle demonstration and test project dubbed Electric Avenue will formally open at Portland State University on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

For the two-year project, a variety of EV charging stations will be installed along a one-block area of Southwest Montgomery, between Broadway and Sixth. They will allow EV owners to recharge their vehicles while only paying parking fees. The project will give PSU researchers information on how the charging stations are used in the real world.

Electric Avenue is co-sponsored by PSU, Portland General Electric and the city of Portland. A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Scheduled speakers include PSU President Wim Wiewel, PGE President and CEO Jim Piro, and Portland Mayor Sam Adams.

A number of EVs will be on display during the ceremony, including a Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Tesla Roadster, Ford Transit Connect, and a Smith Newton truck.

The charging stations are provided by the following project partners: Eaton, Shorepower Technologies, OpConnect, SPX, ECOtality and General Electric.

PSU is a major center for EV research. The university has partnered with PGE to study how the vehicles' use can be increased. Oregon is one of the early states embracing EVs by helping to install public charging stations in the Portland area and the rest of the state. As a result, both the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are being sold here before most other states.